SFR Brigade Presents The Golden Token

SFRB ShowcaseOnce a month the Science Fiction Romance Brigade authors showcase snippets from new work, WIPs, cover reveals or other fun things. The link is here for all  the participants.

stowawayI just released a collection of stories from the Sectors universe in a collection entitled STAR CRUISE A NOVELLA: STOWAWAY plus RESCUE and TOKEN Short Stories. These tales had only been available in anthologies previously. (And the anthologies are no longer available.)  

One story is The Golden Token, which was for the DEALER’S CHOICE antho put together by Linnea Sinclair for last year’s Interstellar Bar & Grille event at the RT Booklovers’ Convention.  It was a paperback book handed out at the event only, never on sale, never in ebook format.

Here’s the story:  

Sectors Special Forces operator Charlie McBrire had a few days to kill on a layover at Space Station 47. He never expected to find himself in the middle of a miners’ rebellion, fighting to save the life of a casino dancer he just met but can’t imagine living without.

The Excerpt, as Charlie arrives on the station:

He was the only one waiting in the air lock to debark. Charlie glanced at the ship’s Second Officer standing by the controls. Smiling, she thumbprinted his ticket. “Thank you for traveling with us, Mr. McBrire. If you could move along into the exit tunnel—”

“Shouldn’t we wait for the rest of the passengers?” He hoisted his kitbag.

A puzzled frown crossed her face. “There isn’t anyone else. Sector 47 Station isn’t a normal stop for us, but ICC regulations require we serve stations with no scheduled service, if there’s a passenger.” She leaned close. “You should have heard the captain complaining. But the law’s the law and you’re ex-military after all, so the Line insisted.”

“It’s that isolated?” He was surprised, but then he hadn’t been in this area of the Sectors in a long time.

“The travel agent who booked you is going to get reamed, but his screw up isn’t your problem. Are you staying on the station?” Her tone suggested sympathy if he was.

He shook his head. “Passing through, making a connection with a freighter going my way. I won’t be here long enough to breathe much of their precious air.”

“Kumisarc Corporation’ll hit you up for the oxygen tax anyway,” she said.

 He walked into the tunnel, barely clearing the portal at the end before he heard the sound of the grav clamps disengaging as the spaceliner cast off. While following a trail of blinking green arrows, Charlie examined his surroundings. If this corridor was anything to judge by, the facility was huge, built for a time when the Sector had been on the frontier, the mining colonies active and the immigrants flocking to the opportunities to strike it rich. Civilization had passed this place by in the last few decades. His footsteps echoed as he trudged past closed kiosks and arrival/departure airlocks. The air was cold, metallic in his lungs.

A promising cluster of lights gleamed at the end of the hallway and he soon arrived at the only desk where a living being sat. The man barely glanced at him. “Travel docs?”

Handing over his ticket, Charlie said, “The place always this deserted?”

“You’re on the inter-sector arrival deck, not much action. You taking a census?”

 “Just curious.”

Rubbing his jaw, the clerk said, “Maybe a couple of freighters a month for me to deal with. I’m normally assigned one level up, where the miners arrive to burn through their paychecks. Up there, yeah, we see a lot of traffic. No other place to spend credits and blow off steam in this Sector.”

Now Charlie was afraid the guy was never going to shut up. Apparently he didn’t get much chance to talk to another human, and one rhetorical question had opened the flood gates of information on a subject Charlie didn’t care two pieces of space debris about.

He plucked his ticket from the man’s fingers, taking a glance to see how much oxygen tax he was paying. “Wait, there’s some mistake here. I’m not staying on the Station.”

Tongue between his teeth as he concentrated, the station agent reviewed the information on the screen before him. “You’re hopping a ride on the Centauri Dawn to your destination in Sector 46, right?”

“Yes, but she’s supposed to be docking later today.”

The clerk shrugged. “Updated info as of an hour ago. Ran into some rogue comets. She won’t be here for three days. Be glad she’s coming at all, would be my advice.” A small alarm sounded and the man held up one hand. “Hold on, this could be your lucky day.”

“I fail to see how.”

“Says here you’re arrival number one hundred for this cycle and entitled to a golden token, redeemable at the Hall of Good Fortune.” He handed Charlie a large, fake gold coin, embossed with a dragon on one side and blank on the other.

Astonished, Charlie flipped the coin over. “You must be kidding me.  Nobody uses metal money these days, not even in a backwater Sector like this.”

The other stories in this volume:

Star Cruise: Stowaway: A novella of 22K words, previously in the award winning ‘Pets In Space’ anthology.

Cargo Master Owen Embersson is shocked when the Nebula Zephyr’s ship’s cat and her alien sidekick, Midorri, alert him to the presence of a stowaway. He has no idea of the dangerous complications to come nor does he anticipate falling hard for the woman whose life he now holds in his hands. Life aboard the Nebula Zephyr has just become more interesting – and deadly.

Star Cruise: Rescue: A short story of 9K words, previously in the ‘Romancing the Stars’ anthology.

When a shore leave excursion goes terribly wrong for Mira Gage, a member of the Nebula Zephyr’s crew, Security Officer Clint Miltan races the clock to find her before the ship leaves orbit and abandons Mira to her fate. Clint’s got more than a professional interest in Mira, but will he be able to save her from the aliens holding her prisoner?

BUY LINKS:

Amazon    iBooks    B&N     Kobo

 

 

Do Your People Dance Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the
participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

Last excerpt from Danger in the Stars, since it’s been released for a couple of weeks now!

Sorry, not going to explain why Mirielle needed Conor to move the flowers closer in last week’s excerpt, trying to avoid spoilers. (But you can read the book, she said sneakily….and a huge thank you to everyone who has bought the book or added it to their TBR list!)

I’ll leave you with a happyish moment from roughly 1/3 of the way through the book:

Miriell stood at the open balcony door, watching the rain fall as a balmy breeze stirred the loose tendrils of her hair. It pleased her to think of the soft rain drifting onto the garden where Conor had taken her, and she started to sway. Humming a blessing song, she closed her eyes. Knowing she was being appallingly foolish, she visualized herself at home on her own world, tending the temple’s garden on a beautiful spring day, singing this special song. It was said among the village folk that the tune would bring your beloved to find you.

There was a sound behind her, breaking her concentration on the momentary vision of her home, and she turned, bracing herself to deal with more of Jareck’s casual cruelty.

Conor stood there, staring at her as he softly closed the door. “Don’t stop,” he whispered, holding out one hand. “Do your people dance to this beautiful music?”

So lost in her song and her bittersweet dream, she hadn’t even heard him enter the suite.

dangerinthestarsfinalThe story:

Miriell, a powerful empathic priestess, has been kidnapped from her own primitive planet along with a number of her people, and sold to the evil Amarotu Combine, largest organized crime syndicate in the Sectors. When she and her handler are sent to use her power to commit an assassination, she must leave behind her own sister as hostage to ensure her compliance. Miriell cannot ask for aid without endangering herself and others.

Despite his best efforts, Combine enforcer Conor Stewart is entranced by Miriell, and helps her evade the worst of brutal treatment from the rest of the mob. But Conor must keep his distance, before the lovely empath learns that he has secrets of his own–secrets that could get them both killed.

The situation becomes dire when Conor and Miriell come to the attention of both the Combine overlords and the deadly Mawreg, aliens who threaten the Sectors. Can she save herself and the Mawreg’s next victims? And will Conor help her, or remain loyal to his evil bosses?

Buy Links:

Amazon      iBooks    Kobo     Barnes & Noble

 

 

She Needs Flowers Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the
participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

I’m only going to do one or two more excerpts from  Danger in the Stars since it’s now released. Then I’ll switch to something else.

This is from a scene later in the book, after Mirielle’s used her power and is having a hard time recovering. Jareck, her ‘controller’, left her alone in the hotel suite, confined to the couch by ankle restraints. Conor has stopped by as promised earlier, to check on her health. Edited a bit from the published version.

The excerpt:

“Please, can you do one thing for me?” She hated to ask for anything from these people, but her breathing wasn’t improving, and she was frightened. Jareck wouldn’t show up for hours, if at all, and when he did, his mood might be volcanic if he’d lost, or he might be too drunk to pay any attention to her. At least Conor had tried to get a doctor for her.

Hand already on the door, he paused, glancing over his shoulder, “What do you need?”

She gestured at a huge bouquet the hotel had placed on the table at the other end of the capacious sitting room, “Could you bring those closer to me, maybe on the floor next to the couch?”

He threw back his head and laughed, “Lady, that’s the strangest request I’ve ever heard. You like the smell, do you eat them, what?” Conor strolled closer, “No answer? I’m not touching the flowers till you explain.”

dangerinthestarsfinalThe story:

Miriell, a powerful empathic priestess, has been kidnapped from her own primitive planet along with a number of her people, and sold to the evil Amarotu Combine, largest organized crime syndicate in the Sectors. When she and her handler are sent to use her power to commit an assassination, she must leave behind her own sister as hostage to ensure her compliance. Miriell cannot ask for aid without endangering herself and others.

Despite his best efforts, Combine enforcer Conor Stewart is entranced by Miriell, and helps her evade the worst of brutal treatment from the rest of the mob. But Conor must keep his distance, before the lovely empath learns that he has secrets of his own–secrets that could get them both killed.

The situation becomes dire when Conor and Miriell come to the attention of both the Combine overlords and the deadly Mawreg, aliens who threaten the Sectors. Can she save herself and the Mawreg’s next victims? And will Conor help her, or remain loyal to his evil bosses?

Buy Links:

Amazon      iBooks    Kobo     Barnes & Noble

 

Not Around Me Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the
participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

DANGER IN THE STARS is finally LIVE!!!!! Buy links below the excerpt…

I thought we should have some of Conor’s POV. This is after Miriell makes an escape attempt and Conor steps in to prevent Jareck from punishing her:

Punching a hole in the wall was probably the only thing that’d be capable of dispelling the anger riding him, but as usual he kept the emotion bottled up, greeting the people he met in the corridor on the way to his room with a grin and a joke. Once Conor stepped inside the relative security of his suite, he took off his jacket and removed his shoulder holster. Walking to the bureau to set down the concealed blaster, he stood for a long moment, head bowed, breathing deeply, attempting to set aside his emotions. The events of the afternoon didn’t sit well with him.

What the seven hells kind of circus had the Devir 6 branch sent into Opherra’s territory? And how much trouble was the unusual team going to cause? The so-called handler was a loose asteroid if he’d ever seen one—watching the way he’d treated the alien woman who was his prisoner, it had been all Conor could do not to kill him on the spot. Jareck had enjoyed terrorizing her. Well, not around me, he won’t.

dangerinthestarsfinalThe story:

Miriell, a powerful empathic priestess, has been kidnapped from her own primitive planet along with a number of her people, and sold to the evil Amarotu Combine, largest organized crime syndicate in the Sectors. When she and her handler are sent to use her power to commit an assassination, she must leave behind her own sister as hostage to ensure her compliance. Miriell cannot ask for aid without endangering herself and others.

Despite his best efforts, Combine enforcer Conor Stewart is entranced by Miriell, and helps her evade the worst of brutal treatment from the rest of the mob. But Conor must keep his distance, before the lovely empath learns that he has secrets of his own–secrets that could get them both killed.

The situation becomes dire when Conor and Miriell come to the attention of both the Combine overlords and the deadly Mawreg, aliens who threaten the Sectors. Can she save herself and the Mawreg’s next victims? And will Conor help her, or remain loyal to his evil bosses?

Buy Links:

Amazon      iBooks    Kobo     Barnes & Noble

Guest Liza O’Connor Talks SciFi Romance SCAVENGER VANISHES

Scavenger vanishes BLOG TOUR BANNER3Liza: Two hundred years ago, before the terror wars changed Earth, rules to prevent inappropriate relationships and coercion between high-ranking personnel and their subordinates existed in the USA armed forces.

But it never worked well…

Now, 200 years into our future, MAC, the artificial intelligence that runs the SkyRyder Corps, evaluates all personnel and ranks them on their abilities, thus the need to prevent an officer from fraternizing or having sex with someone beneath them is not against the rules IF both parties are willing to participate. Since both parties are assigned their rank and job by MAC, there should be no negative impact if they wish to fraternize.

Sadly, MAC missed the big issue:

As long as General Powell can field promote or demote the soldiers whenever he likes, for whatever reason, he still has excessive power; and as long as Powell keeps a list of every mistake a soldier has ever made and can send it to MAC whenever he wishes to punish the soldier, he still controls his or her future in the Corps; Thus, Powell continues to weld incredible power over his men and women.

And like most humans, he’s not always fair or reasonable. In the excerpt below he demands Alisha to give his men the “same comfort” she has given Logan’s men. He sees it as fairness. She sees it as coerced sex.

Scavenger vanishes 6 400BLURB:

Stationed on opposite coasts, Alisha and Logan must each face their own demons and challenges. On the West Coast, Alisha loses her rank for butting heads with General Powell and soon discovers the life of a private can be utter hell. On the East Coast, newly promoted General Logan discovers his soldiers do not recognize his authority to command. In an effort to retake control of the East Coast Corps, Logan authorizes unthinkable actions. When Alisha faces a life-threatening crisis, will Logan rise above his own troubles, or will she discover love and rescue with her best friend Jack?

 

EXCERPT

The moment the door closed behind her, her ears rang from Powell’s bellowing about her inability to teach his fliers Class Five skills.

“How many passed, sir?” The general had stormed off without reading the scores out loud.

“None!”

“Tucker didn’t pass?” she asked in disbelief. His run had been nearly perfect.

“I was talking about my soldiers!” the general raged. “None of my soldiers passed. But then you didn’t actually provide them any of your generous comfort, now did you?”

“I haven’t provided anyone with comfort.”

He was in her face, roaring just like that old lion at the zoo, except this time there were no bars protecting her. “You are addressing a general, Private Kane. You will address me as ‘sir’, and you will limit your answers to no more than is required to answer my questions. Is that understood?”

“Sir, yes, sir.”

“Now I want to know why all my men failed the exam?”

“They couldn’t have failed by much, sir. They have all the maneuvers down.”

“I don’t care how close they got. They didn’t pass the test. Do you understand?”

“Yes, sir!”

“I want them to pass. You do whatever you have to do to make them pass in three days. You give them whatever you gave Tucker. Am I clear?”

Alisha suddenly felt like a virgin mistress being scolded by her parents. “Do whatever it takes, but keep him happy and get a baby in your womb.”

Logan, get me out of here! she inwardly prayed as she replied to the general that she understood.

“Good.” He returned to his desk and held up a sheet of paper. “I made a mistake with my handling of you. I admit that. I gave you too much rein. Ironic, since that was the exact problem Logan had with you as well. You would think I would have learned from his mistake. Well, I didn’t, but I have learned now. Going forward, there will be zero tolerance in your behavior. You will be the model soldier.”

“Yes, sir,” Alisha said. “I will,” she promised. “I recognize what I did at the assembly was wrong, sir. That will never happen again.”

“Nice words, Private Kane. And they sound sincere. Would that be because you’re expecting General Logan to come and rescue you from having to fulfill them?”

SALES LINK

The SkyRyder’s Series, Book 3    Scavenger Vanishes      AMAZON

About the Author

Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

OTHER BOOKS BY LIZA O’CONNOR

SCIENCE FICTION

The Multiverse Series:    Sci-Fi Soap Opera with humor, romance, and science

The Gods of Probabilities

Surviving Outbound

Surviving Terranue

Surviving Sojourn

Artificial Intelligence Series  Sci-Fi/Romance

Public Secrets

Birth of Adam 

The SkyRyders Series  Sci-Fi Romance

Scavenger’s Mission

Scavenger Falters

Scavenger Vanishes

To Follow Liza O’Connor :

Check out all my books on Amazon

Be sure to click FOLLOW  on my Amazon page so I can alert you to new books.
Stop by my Author Facebook Page   which I’ve dedicate to Sci Fi books

Wander over to my personal Facebook Page where I talk and share about books, politics, and other silliness.

Twitter is a great place to find me: @Liza0Connor 

(That’s @Liza, the number 0, then Connor)

ALL OF LIZA’S BOOKS

THERE’S OVER 30 OF THEM

New #SciFi Release DANGER IN THE STARS

dangerinthestarsfinalSo happy to report that my latest scifi romance Danger in the Stars, in NOW available!

She’s a powerful empath. He’s an interstellar mob enforcer whose ruthless boss is holding her prisoner.

Miriell, a powerful empathic priestess, has been kidnapped from her own primitive planet along with a number of her people, and sold to the evil Amarotu Combine, largest organized crime syndicate in the Sectors. When she and her handler are sent to use her power to commit an assassination, she must leave behind her own sister as hostage to ensure her compliance. Miriell cannot ask for aid without endangering herself and others.

Despite his best efforts, Combine enforcer Conor Stewart is entranced by Miriell, and helps her evade the worst of brutal treatment from the rest of the mob. But Conor must keep his distance, before the lovely empath learns that he has secrets of his own–secrets that could get them both killed.

The situation becomes dire when Conor and Miriell come to the attention of both the Combine overlords and the deadly Mawreg, aliens who threaten the Sectors. Can she save herself and the Mawreg’s next victims? And will Conor help her, or remain loyal to his evil bosses?

Buy Links:

Amazon      iBooks      Barnes & Noble    Kobo

 

What Was the Boss Thinking Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedIf you’re here for the SFRB Showcase, follow the link (longer excerpt from Danger in the Stars by the way).

Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the
participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

Continuing on, Miriell and her controller Jareck are driven to the hotel in a groundcar with the crime boss Opherra, who goes on a rant about how Miriell looks.

The excerpt:

“The woman’s appearance is hopeless. What can your bosses be thinking? Not only is her hair unusual and easily remembered, but that gaudy piece of metal around her neck screams cheap. Tawdry. And the gray tunic? Institutional.” The boss sniffed, “I can’t have someone dressed like an escapee from a prison in my company.”

“We usually work behind the scenes,” Jareck said, his voice filled with the blatant desire to please, “She doesn’t have to be in the room with the victim, once she knows who the target is.”

“Well, she’s going to be in the room this time.”

dangerinthestarsfinalSTATUS:  Danger in the Stars is at the formatter and nearly ready to start uploading to the retail sites! Hopefully by next Sunday I can announce buy links!

The story:

Miriell, a powerful empathic priestess, has been kidnapped from her own primitive planet along with a number of her people, and sold to the evil Amarotu Combine, largest organized crime syndicate in the Sectors. When she and her handler are sent to use her power to commit an assassination, she must leave behind her own sister as hostage to ensure her compliance. Miriell cannot ask for aid without endangering herself and others.

Despite his best efforts, Combine enforcer Conor Stewart is entranced by Miriell, and helps her evade the worst of brutal treatment from the rest of the mob. But Conor must keep his distance, before the lovely empath learns that he has secrets of his own–secrets that could get them both killed.

The situation becomes dire when Conor and Miriell come to the attention of both the Combine overlords and the deadly Mawreg, aliens who threaten the Sectors. Can she save herself and the Mawreg’s next victims? And will Conor help her, or remain loyal to his evil bosses?

SFR Brigade Presents DANGER IN THE STARS

SFRB ShowcaseOnce a month the Science Fiction Romance Brigade authors showcase snippets from new work, WIPs, cover reveals or other fun things. The link is here for all  the participants.

I’m doing excerpts from Danger in the Stars, which is at the formatter this week and will hopefully be released next week, but certainly by the 11th of April.

dangerinthestarsfinalThe story:

Miriell, a powerful empathic priestess, has been kidnapped from her own primitive planet along with a number of her people, and sold to the evil Amarotu Combine, largest organized crime syndicate in the Sectors. When she and her handler are sent to use her power to commit an assassination, she must leave behind her own sister as hostage to ensure her compliance. Miriell cannot ask for aid without endangering herself and others.

Despite his best efforts, Combine enforcer Conor Stewart is entranced by Miriell, and helps her evade the worst of brutal treatment from the rest of the mob. But Conor must keep his distance, before the lovely empath learns that he has secrets of his own–secrets that could get them both killed.

The situation becomes dire when Conor and Miriell come to the attention of both the Combine overlords and the deadly Mawreg, aliens who threaten the Sectors. Can she save herself and the Mawreg’s next victims? And will Conor help her, or remain loyal to his evil bosses?

VS Note: This is the story of the sister who is mentioned in passing in Star Cruise: Stowaway, my story in the award winning PETS IN SPACE anthology. The new novel is completely standalone.

The excerpt – Miriell is required to demonstrate her powers to Opherra, the crime boss she’s been brought in to assist. Opherra is speaking. Jareck is the thug assigned to ‘control’ Miriell:

“I want a demonstration of what the performer can do. Prove to me you can be of assistance in what I need.”

“Can you give me a few more details on what you want me to make her do?” Jareck asked.

Miriell felt nauseated as her muscles tensed while she waited to learn what atrocious act she’d be required to perform now, what perversion of her Thuun-given gifts would be demanded.

“The end game is to help me attract a particular influential gentleman who’s been curiously resistant to my charms,” Opherra said, her lips twisted in annoyance. “I need him in thrall to me for our plans here to move forward. In too deep to back out when I reveal my true agenda. No names, but he’s key. My boss is tired of waiting for the standard ploys to yield results.”

“Is he here?”

She shook her head. “Of course not. I need to see these abilities in action before I risk my entire operation on an unknown.” Glancing around the restaurant, she laughed. “Oh yes, an excellent target for the demonstration I want. You see that blonde woman, the one with her husband, the older couple and three children? I’ve never seen anyone less likely to commit suicide. Make her throw herself off the balcony, and I’ll be a believer.” She drummed her talonlike red fingernails on the tablecloth. “Now.”

Miriell’s heart sank. The target was clearly happy, surrounded by her family, and had been casually targeted by Opherra to die just to prove a point. She gathered her power, which was curiously difficult to do, perhaps because she was so repelled by the task, and hummed the death song under her breath. Reaching out with her senses, she found the tiniest gray in the unfortunate woman’s vivid colors. Each sentient had their private sorrows and constant worries. Miriell worked to expand the gray, suppress the other colors. The woman’s companions were oblivious to her sudden silence, because the lively children were laughing and talking so happily. Suddenly, there were gasps as the target of Miriell’s attack rose abruptly from the table, knocking her chair into the person next to her. Face blank, the woman strode toward the edge of the dining area and the observation platform that built over thin air. It had safety rails, but nothing robust enough to stop a determined adult from pitching headfirst to the ground hundreds of feet below.  Her husband raced after her, but she had a head start and was increasing her speed as she went.

Hoping no one would notice what she was doing, Miriell continued her pressure on the woman but began to subtly affect one of the waiters carrying a huge load of dishes until, at literally the last second, he backed away from a table and collided with the suicidal woman, sending them both reeling and collapsing to the floor, tangled together, covered in food and broken crockery. Miriell released her hold on both sentients and fell back in her chair. Hand shaking, she reached for her glass of water and sipped, although her throat was nearly closed from stress. Please let that be enough of a demonstration for Opherra.

Buy Links: Amazon      iBooks    Kobo     Barnes & Noble

VS: In my post that I did for Liza O’Connor’s blog, discussing this book, I mentioned one of my influences was the original Star Trek episode “The Empath…” I always loved that episode and the idea of how powerful an empath could be remained with me.

star trek the empath

 

 

 

 

Do I Have To Carry You Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the
participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

I’ve switched to excerpts from my upcoming release, Danger in the Stars. This story is a companion piece to Star Cruise: Stowaway, my story in the PETS IN SPACE anthology, and is a completely standalone novel about the sister of Stowaway‘s heroine. Continuing on from last week, where the heroine, Miriell, had a strong reaction to an unknown man’s voice (not Jareck).

(Oh, and there’s some award news and a book on sale at the end!)

Intrigued by her own reaction, she forced herself to sit up, bracing herself against the cargo container that had been her prison. Blinking to focus, she turned her head, searching for the owner of the new voice.

Jareck grabbed her elbow in a bruising grip and yanked her to her feet. He must have removed the shackles while she was still unconscious. Giving her a shake, he said, “I swear, every time we travel for a job, you act as if your sweet time asleep in the cryo unit was torture.”

Maybe because for me it is. Swaying, balance still off, she couldn’t resist Jareck as he tugged her close to him, the smell of his cheap cologne another assault on her overloaded senses. Her stomach heaved and she had to make a conscious effort not to throw up all over him, slapping her free hand over her mouth.

“Do I have to carry you?” His voice was low and she knew it was a threat. 

dangerinthestarsfinalThe story:

Miriell, a powerful empathic priestess, has been kidnapped from her own primitive planet along with a number of her people, and sold to the evil Amarotu Combine, largest organized crime syndicate in the Sectors. When she and her handler are sent to use her power to commit an assassination, she must leave behind her own sister as hostage to ensure her compliance. Miriell cannot ask for aid without endangering herself and others.

Despite his best efforts, Combine enforcer Conor Stewart is entranced by Miriell, and helps her evade the worst of brutal treatment from the rest of the mob. But Conor must keep his distance, before the lovely empath learns that he has secrets of his own–secrets that could get them both killed.

The situation becomes dire when Conor and Miriell come to the attention of both the Combine overlords and the deadly Mawreg, aliens who threaten the Sectors. Can she save herself and the Mawreg’s next victims? And will Conor help her, or remain loyal to his evil bosses?

At the copy editor, coming in late March/early April.

In other news, my Lady of the Star Wind was selected as an EPIC eBook Award Finalist last week! WHEE! I’ve put the book on sale for $.99 in honor of the honor…

Lady of the Star WindFinal-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700The story:

Are they merely luckless lovers … or a legend come back to life?

Mark Denaltieri, ex-Sector Special Forces, has been hired by the Outlier Empress to rescue her granddaughter, Princess Alessandra, from kidnappers. Since the Empress once had him tortured and banished, she’s the last person Mark wants to work for. But he takes the job. He’ll save Alessandra, his first love, and discover why she didn’t speak for him when he desperately needed her. Then he’ll be on his way, finally free of his past.

Alessandra would rather her rescuer was anyone but Mark–after all, he let her believe he was dead all this time. But when the couple are forced to flee her captors by Traveling via a strange crystal globe, they find themselves in a lovely Oasis on a desert planet, the old attraction sizzling between them again.

They soon discover they are far from alone. The Oasis holds the entrance to another world, one in which the inhabitants are convinced Sandy and Mark are the Lady of the Star Wind and her Warrior, come to free them from an evil Queen.

Mark and Sandy must work together to unearth an ancient mirror, and crown the true king of this land.  Can they fulfill the prophecy of the Lady and her Warrior … and this time, will their love survive the test?

Buy Links:  iBooks     Amazon    KOBO     Barnes & Noble

 

A Poisoned Blade? Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revised(If you’re here for the SFR Brigade Presents excerpt, please go HERE.)

Some fun awards news below the excerpt….

Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the
participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

I’m continuing on with my latest release, Star Survivor for another week or two. I’ll have a new release soon! (Blurb for Star Survivor below the excerpt.) Twilka and Khevan are on the run, trying to evade other assassins, since the Red Lady has a kill order out on Twilka. The couple are in a bad area of town, waiting for their friend Nick to arrive. Khevan has been talking to another D’nvannae Brother  while Twilka watches suspiciously from close by. The two men get into a knife fight, which Twilka breaks up, but Khevan is wounded. He says it’s a mere scratch. (Edited a bit from published version and some repunctuating):

He assessed the surrounding area, “We must go deeper into the slum, then obtain an automated rent-by-the-hour room and stay there for the night. I have fake ID we can use to secure the room.”

Arm in arm as if they were lovers, she and Khevan strolled through the trash-filled streets, rejecting the first few rent-a-room places before Twilka decided enough was enough and booked a chamber with his fake ID. The robo clerk delivered a card key and she led Khevan to the designated unit, breathing a deep sigh of relief as the door closed behind them and they were out of the public eye.

“Let me see your injury,” she said, as he sank onto the none too generous bed.

The slash looked dangerous to her, the edges red and puffy, “Do D’nvannae ever coat their blades with poison?” She asked the question over her shoulder as she went into the tiny bathroom to search for something to wash the wound with.

“A treachery against our code of honor – such an act would only be done at the Lady’s express command, and the Brother I met in the street wasn’t part of a compliance squad sent by her. I taught his class at the local temple in the afternoon before the kill order arrived, so he recognized me,” Khevan removed his shirt as she approached with cloths, “I think he overestimated his own abilities and hoped to earn renown by being the one to turn me in – a smarter move would have been to stay out of sight, call for assistance, and attempt to follow us.”

Star Survivor by Veronica ScottThe story:

The survivors of a terrible wreck meet again—but this time only one can survive.

They survived an iconic spaceship wreck together. She never expected to see him again … especially not armed to kill her.

Twilka Zabour is an interstellar celebrity. She built on her notoriety as a carefree Socialite who survived the terrible wreck of the Nebula Dream, and launched a successful design house. But now the man who gave meaning to her life, then left her, is back–this time for the worst of reasons. Will he kill her … or help her survive?

D’nvannae Brother Khevan survived the Nebula Dream in the company of a lovely, warm woman, only to be pulled away from her, back into his solitary life in the service of the Red Lady.  Now Twilka’s within his reach again–for all the wrong reasons. Khevan will do everything within his power to discover why Twilka has been targeted for assassination, and to save her.

But Khevan is not Twilka’s only pursuer. Will allies Nick and Mara Jameson arrive in time to aid the couple, or will Khevan and Twilka’s ingenuity be all that stands between them and death?

iBooks      Amazon    Kobo       Barnes & Noble

And in other news, the SFR Galaxy Awards were announced this week (I’m squeeing because Star Cruise Outbreak got two awards and Hostage to the Stars got one, plus the Pets In Space anthology got two.)! Be sure to take a moment or two to check out all the listed books! Lots of great reads by excellent authors…

sfr-galay-award-2016